Old Dominion vs Virginia Tech Odds, Picks: Hokies to Win in Blowout
Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images. Pictured: Grant Wells of Virginia Tech.
- The Old Dominion Monarchs take on the Virginia Tech Hokies in a Saturday Week 1 college football matchup.
- The Hokies come into the game as favorites of more than two touchdowns at -16.5, and that's where our writer sees betting value.
- Read on for Thomas Schlarp's full betting preview and pick for Old Dominion vs Virginia Tech.
Old Dominion vs Virginia Tech Odds
The former Penn State coordinators meet again to open their respective seasons, with Brent Pry and Blacksburg playing host to Ricky Rahne’s Old Dominion Monarchs.
Pry’s Hokies struggled in year one, failing to win a single conference game and losing in an upset to these very Monarchs to start the year.
Something similar could be said for Old Dominion, which after pulling off the upset of Virginia Tech, went on to finish the season with six straight losses.
Pry has now had another season to completely overhaul the bare roster left by Justin Fuente, but will it pay off on the field immediately in year two as Virginia Tech seeks bowl eligibility?
Rahne’s third season as coach at Old Dominion could be his biggest struggle to date. After losing six straight to drop to 3-9 in 2022, the Monarchs were gutted by departures in the transfer portal.
On offense, quarterback Hayden Wolff transferred to Western Michigan, running back Blake Watson left for Memphis and one of the country’s better receivers — Ali Jennings — transferred to Virginia Tech. And that's just to name a few.
Grant Wilson, who arrived from Fordham with new offensive coordinator Kevin Decker, will be the new starting quarterback for an offense that will be more up-tempo than what Rahne’s teams were in ‘21 and '22.
The defense was struck just as hard in the portal and only returns three starters from a year ago.
That’s bad news for a unit that ranked 118th in total defense, surrendering 442.6 yards per game.
Jason Henderson is one of the lone bright spots on this side of the ball. The tackling-machine linebacker racked up 186 tackles last year.
Pry’s first season in Blacksburg was a bit of a disappointment, with the Hokies only going 3-8.
The good news is that Virginia Tech’s offense should be better this year, mainly because there’s not much elsewhere to go other than up. Grant Wells regressed in his first full Power 5 season as quarterback, passing for over 2,100 yards with just nine passing touchdowns to nine interceptions.
Wells clearly must have shown some improvement in the offseason for the coaching staff to stick with him over Kyron Jones, but he also welcomes the addition of Jennings, who led Old Dominion in receiving and was third in the country with 106.6 receiving yards per game.
The Hokies will look his way early and often to improve upon their 19.3 points per game (118th in the country).
Pry was supposed to bring defensive prowess to Virginia Tech, and for the most part, the Hokies lived up to expectations on that side of the ball, ranking 21st in Success Rate Allowed and second in Stuff Rate.
Much of that front seven returns this season, as does cornerback Mansoor Delane and his team-leading eight pass breakups to help slow down the Monarchs' passing attack.
One area that that the Hokies will need to clean up is in the red zone. It likely won't be a huge issue Week 1, but last season, Virginia Tech finished ranked 124th in red-zone defense alongside a mark of 69th in Finishing Drives.
Old Dominion vs. Virginia Tech
Betting Pick & Prediction
The Hokies beat Old Dominion in just about every single offensive category in their 2022 matchup, and yet a bizarre late turnover allowed the Monarchs to walk away with the win.
Enter 2023, and this game is in Lane Stadium. Virginia Tech has improved its roster, while Old Dominion has gotten worse. The Hokies will be flirting with bowl eligibility this year — and are in need of every winnable game — and I think they come out strong with a little taste for revenge.
The Monarchs should have a little trouble finding rhythm with their offense this early in the season, so I’m comfortable laying the 15.5 points and backing Pry’s second season to get off on a better note.